Mother Earth Living

Sheltering Stone: A Stone Home in Upstate New York

Using rock from their property in rural upstate New York, an architect and his wife hand build a timeless stone house on a tight budget.

Glass corners and deep eaves belie the Frank Lloyd Wright influence in Tim McCarthy’s work.
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson
With the exception of the bathroom and the mudroom/pantry, all the rooms face south with panoramic outdoor views through banks of windows that maximize the home’s passive solar effect. Though the stone gives the house a massive, solid feel, its overall scale is modest—just 1,850 square feet.
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson
Glass corners and deep eaves belie the Frank Lloyd Wright influence in Tim McCarthy’s work.
Illustration by Gayle Ford
Lauren soaks up the sun’s warmth in her parent’s bedroom. “Living in a stone house feels cozy and safe, even though people think it would be cold,” her mother explains. “With so much glass and the passive solar, it’s bright and warm inside. In summer it’s so cool that visitors ask whether we have air conditioning.”
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson
In the prairie-style dining room, the family enjoys a bounty of organic greens grown in the garden and Jackie’s homemade baked goods.
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson
The living room, with its soaring vaulted ceiling, invites light and outdoor views into the McCarthy home. “We chose white pine finished with linseed oil for the beams and floor to offset so much masonry,” Tim says. To tie into the home’s rusticity and accentuate the wood’s knotty nature, he copied an antique, wide-plank style of floorboard. The inexpensive wood was cut and milled just twenty miles away.
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson
The McCarthys have family roots in upstate New York: Tim grew up on a nearby dairy farm, and Jackie was raised in Montreal and at her parents’ summer home in upstate New York. The couple bought twenty-two acres of rural land because of its seclusion and south-facing orientation.
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson
This zen sitting area invites comfort and relaxation.
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson
Tim, Jackie, and Lauren McCarthy with dogs Nip and Tuck. “We like setting an example for Lauren and letting her know there are other choices besides wall-to-wall carpeting held down by toxic glue,” says Jackie.
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson
The open kitchen encourages family togetherness. Lauren often does her homework at the U-shaped counter while Jackie cooks.
Photo By Laurie E. Dickson

Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.